Let’s break it down and make it really simple.

You’re a pretty rich person. You buy food from somebody overseas for cheap. They are relatively poor and can’t buy your designer handbags.  Now you have an international trade deficit.

We institute tariffs making the food they sell 25% more expensive.

You buy your food from someone in the USA for 25% more. The local farmer can’t afford your designer handbags either.  But there’s no international trade deficit and you did get to enjoy the premium priced food! Side note: the person overseas did not get any money but who cares? They’re foreign.

Now if you still buy from someone overseas you pay a tariff and the government gets that money.  Neato! Just like a tax increase!  Aren’t trade wars great for everyone?

You may ask, “what about the person who can’t afford 25% more for food?” Hey, it’s just some short term pain. So they should tell the bank or their landlord it’s just for a while that they can’t pay them and see how that goes. Heck, isn’t everyone a little overweight anyhow?